Instead of a long trip this Christmas we decided to stay close to home. The Historical George Ranch with their Christmas decorations seemed like a good choice. It's only a half hour drive from home.
We got our tickets and map and started our walking/riding tour with the newest home, The George House. This house was used from the 1920s to about 1960. The screened porches were add in the 1930s. They were often used for sleeping in summer.
In honor of the founders of the George Ranch, A.P and Mamie George, this bronze statue was placed on the front lawn of their home.
The first bedroom in the George House had twin beds. Much of the furnishings brought back memories; this house was lived in when we were growing up.
The spare bedroom also served as a sewing room when there weren't any guests. Notice the table at the foot of the bed used for laying out patterns and cutting the fabrics. That old treadle sewing machine is almost exactly like one we still have.
From the George House we walked back in time to the next house. The Ryan House was owned by Mamie Ryan George's family and it's where she grew up. There's a huge expanse of grass land surrounding the house complex.
Visitors are greeted by a trellis, covered with vines. This view, however, is from the front porch where we waited for the tour. All house tours started promptly on the hour and half hour.
The tour started in the living room. Today we'd probably call it a family room. It was a room for the adults in the family to get together; maybe even have a cup of tea or coffee.
The formal dining room was where the family ate together, probably for dinner. Much of the work on a ranch is away from the house and lunch was carried with them.
Food was prepared in the adjacent kitchen. The food isn't real, but the cook is. She was our tour guide. The Ryan family, like the George's, were well off and had numerous hired help.
This is the master bedroom. This house has four bedrooms, one for the parents, two for the children, and one for guests. As the children grew and left home some bedrooms were re-purposed.
This is a guest bedroom. A lot of guests, often visiting on business, stayed with the Ryan's. Travel was slower in those days and hotels were few. Note the bamboo looking parts of the bed. It's not really bamboo but oak, turned and carved to look like bamboo. Bamboo was scarce in early Texas. And those platform rockers are very nostalgic.
We walked from the Ryan house to the Davis house, one of the earlier houses on the ranch. It actually was built on the Davis ranch near Fulshear, TX and moved, very carefully, to it's present site. Not all the restoration is complete. But when we entered we were welcomed to sit on the furniture. The other homes all had the furniture roped off, not to be touched. Sitting for a while was a relief, as the hike from house to house was very tiring. This home should be a real gem when finished.
After all the hiking around the ranch we were tired and sore, so we decided to take the "hayride" back to the visitors center. On the way, crossing a creek, we spotted an alligator.
The tractor driver stopped so everyone could get a picture. The kids on the ride were very excited.
Back at the visitors center we perused the gift shop and then, tired and slow, walked back to the car. Next time we'll take the "hayride" for the entire tour.